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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 February, 2004, 16:32 GMT
Royal train gets new locomotive
Royal train's locomotive
The locomotive is expected to be used for more than 30 years
A newly-painted locomotive which will chug across the country pulling the Royal train has been unveiled.

The engine, named the Queen's Messenger, cost 1.5m, can reach speeds of 125mph and is expected to be in service for at least 30 years.

The class 67 diesel engine was built in 1999. Britain's largest rail operator EWS said it replaces two class 47 models currently used.

It is coloured Royal Claret, a deep purple, and bears the Queen's crest.

It will transport its first passengers to engagements this weekend.

"The new locomotive will be able to do the job of the two current models and will be in service for years into the future," Andy Lickfold of EWS said.

Anniversary trip?

"We will alternate between two identical locomotives for the Royal train, though both will also be used for selected public trains."

The engines are based at the firm's Toton Sidings, in Nottinghamshire, and are expected to be running when the Royal family celebrates 200 years of travel on board a dedicated train, in 2042.

Queen Victoria took the maiden journey in June 1842, when she completed a 25-minute passage from Slough to Paddington.

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